New look Everton sink Spurs to start the season in style
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s brilliant header helped a new-look Everton condemn Tottenham Hotspur to opening day home defeat in the Premier League new season.
The England forward gave Hugo Lloris no chance after connecting with Lucas Digne’s in-swinging free-kick to earn the Toffees a first win over Spurs since 2012.
In a pulsating encounter, Everton keeper Jordan Pickford produced two excellent saves to deny Dele Alli and debutant Matt Doherty.
But James Rodriguez who signed from Real Madrid, pulled the strings for Carlo Ancelotti’s side who fully deserved their win after a superb display.
Richarlison should have put them in front in the early stages but the Brazilian lost his footing after rounding Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris.
New-look Everton turn on the style as Spurs fall short
Carlo Ancelotti has embarked on an ambitious rebuilding job, specifically targeting the midfield after the Merseyside club finished last season on a low 12th position.
— Everton (@Everton) September 13, 2020
By recruiting James Rodriguez, Brazil’s Allan and Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure he has strengthened the midfield which proved to be vital as all three gave Ancelotti huge encouragement for the season ahead.
Rodriguez, a misfit in Zidane’s Real Madrid stood out, with his quality passing setting up good chances up front.
The Toffees could – and should – have won by a more handsome margin against a static Tottenham side short of ideas.
Rodriguez twice picked out Richarlison after half-time who wasted a great chance in the first half, could not punish Spurs.
1 – José Mourinho has been defeated on the opening matchday of a league campaign for the first time in his managerial career in what is his 19th such match, winning 11 and drawing seven of the previous 18 before today. Skewed. pic.twitter.com/zkT1zn4fXO
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 13, 2020
Allan, who played under Ancelotti at Napoli, was calm and composed as Everton looked rejuvenated after a poor 2019-20.
Pickford’s saves to keep out Alli and Doherty were crucial, with Ancelotti delighted with a clean-sheet win against a side that finished 10 points and six places above them last season.
Meanwhile the defeat is a yet another moment of reality check for Mourinho and his boys. the former Chelsea and Man Utd boss was unhappy with Everton’s goal, claiming the free-kick which led to Calvert-Lewin’s winner was taken from the wrong place.
But over the regular full time, the North London side were distinctly second best and their lack of threat was summed up by the fact Harry Kane only touched the ball twice in Everton’s penalty area.